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At this point, it seems like virtually every young person in Hollywood has tried out (and been passed over, seemingly) for “Star Wars: Episode VII.” The sequel, which might be the single most anticipated movie since “Star Wars: Episode I,” starts filming soon, so the pressure is on to align the right stars for this particular galaxy. After Jesse Plemmons was said to be meeting with director J.J. Abrams shortly, The Hollywood Reporter has a trio of new names to add to the potential list: Michael Fassbender, Adam Driver (“Girls” and “Inside Llewyn Davis”), and Hugo Weaving.
Keep in mind that these actors join a laundry list of stars that now includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael B. Jordan, Jack O’Connell, Alex Pettyfer, Saoirse Ronan, and Sullivan Stapleton, plus, undoubtedly, countless others that didn’t get leaked or theorized on. As to which of these actors will actually make the final cut, well, that remains to be seen.
Also included in the Hollywood Reporter’s write-up are the supposed reasons why Michael Arndt, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Toy Story 3” and the first key creative person to be brought on board the project, was unceremoniously let go (Abrams and “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” co-screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan have since taken over).
According to the Hollywood Reporter’s sources, Arndt wanted to focus on the offspring of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), with the original series’ heroes taking on a supporting role. Abrams, on the other hand, wanted the new film to focus on the old characters, with the new characters serving as the supporting players, to be introduced more fully in subsequent films. And it wasn’t just a fight between Abrams and Arndt, since HR notes that, “George Lucas, who directed the 1977 original and each of the most recent trilogy, was also involved in the debate, according to insiders. But Lucas, who sold his Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, acquiesced to Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy, who now runs Lucasfilm.” The Hollywood Reporter added: “Some characters have disappeared from the Arndt script and new ones are being added.”
Hopefully everything can be sorted out and announced very soon, since work will have to get underway immediately for the film to make its December 18, 2015, release date.